Online secure exams increasingly popular during Covid-19

In a PIE webinar, panelists from LanguageCert told delegates about the company’s Secure English Language Test services and its role as a UK Home Office-approved global SELT provider. 

There’s much more interest in them as a result of what’s happened over the last few months”

As well as having benefits such as fast turnaround times for test results, online secure exams are also filling a gap in the market around testing during Covid-19 according to Roger Johnson, Language Cert’s chair of the Advisory Council. 

“I’m quite sure that [online secure exams] will and already have become more popular,” he said. 

There’s much more interest in them as a result of what’s happened over the last few months and exam providers, test providers who didn’t have a solution when it came to providing tests online suddenly discovered that they need one. 

“I also think that in the fullness of time, there’ll be a situation where doing tests online will indeed be the norm,” he added. 

During the webinar, delegates heard about how Language Cert’s SELT services work. Test-takers go to secure test centres where they take self-tests online. SELT exams can be used for visa purposes and are currently accepted by UKVI. 

Johnson explained that there is a “very rapid” turnaround time for these tests’ results. Provisional test results are available within a few minutes and are sent to candidates by email. The official results, for UKVI purposes, are sent to candidates within three working days. 

While candidates currently have to go into test centres, Johnson explained that there is likely to be discussions in the future around candidates taking tests at home. 

“There’s an interesting question of at what point do very highly secure tests like the tests we’re talking about today, self-tests, at what point might the authorities feel sufficiently comfortable to allow people to do those tests as a secure test in a home or an office environment, rather than needing to visit a test centre,” he said. 

Increasingly people will expect to be able to do tests in that manner and providers will want to be able to enable that to happen,” he added.

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